Maya – Incremental save and Auto save

•October 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Maya has two great saving features; incremental save and auto save.

Incremental save is activated through the save menu options. Its function is to save a copy of the file you working on, so you can backtrack to a previous version.
Auto save is activated through the preferences menu, and its function is to save a copy of your file at predefined intervals.

Unfortunately these two features dont work together with default settings. Incremental save, puts the files into a folder called “incrementalSave”, while auto save puts them in “autosave”. With Maya 2012 you can easily change the directory for the autosave to the “incrementalSave” folder, and this will make them work together.

Though I dont like having a folder called “incrementalSave”, and I like to be able to control what folders are used and created. So I went digging through Maya’s start up scripts and found “incrementalSaveScene” and “incrementalSaveProcessPath”. These two scripts control the incremental saving feature, so with a bit of modification you can put the incremental save where ever you want.
The current workflow I utilize has a folder called “archive”, which has all older versions of a file. The scripts that I use can be found here:
This way there should never be a question about where the latest version of a file is.


Image sequences and DJV Imaging

•October 17, 2011 • 2 Comments

Its only quite recently that I had the revelation of being able to view image sequences without the use of Adobe software. fCheck that comes with Maya can do this, but a much better program for this is DJV Imaging.

The basic function of these are to load the image sequence into the computers memory for playback, so the amount of frames you can watch is dependent on the amount of RAM in your computer. But even if you haven’t got a lot of RAM, DJV Imaging can still be extremely useful. Currently I use it all the time to preview renders. Not only can you see whether your renders have come out good, but you can also find out what frames are missing. Though for checking missing frame there is a another great utility; FrameChecker.

The user friendliness of DJV Imaging is great, with simple drag’n’drop for loading files and image sequences. Another awesome feature of DJV Imaging is that you can save out an image sequence to a Quicktime video file. It took me quite a while to figure out how to it, but it turns out this feature is only in the 32-bit version which makes a lot of sense since Quicktime is only in 32-bit (doh). Again it is super simple to use, just load in an image sequence and go to File>Save and remember the “.mov” file extension. I did do some tests on which codec was the best one, can the default JPEG on normal quality is the best. Though you do get large-ish files, but used with Handbrake gives you nice small files with good quality, perfect for deliveries or approvals.
I have both 32-bit and 64-bit installed. I use the 32-bit version for saving out Quicktime files, and the 64-bit version for viewing. Since 64-bit can handle more RAM you can view longer sequences. Other features of DJV Imaging include; zoom/pan,histogram,color correction amongst other things. I would suggest going through the preferences when you get comfortable with DJV Imaging so you can customize it to your needs.
DJV Imaging also comes with command line utility. Currently I haven’t had much use for it, but I can definitely see the possibilities with it when setting up a pipeline.  Something like automatically generate a video file for preview when a render is done would be nice… possibly something for a future post.

Lastly the absolute favorite part of these awesome programs is that they come at a very reasonable price range: FREE!


•October 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

So in celebration of the 1-year silence on this blog, I thought I would try and break the silence with a new post. I still haven’t put up my third year film, so here we are.

hope you enjoyed the film. A lot has happen since then, and I hope to post some new stuff from my adventures into Maya. Maybe a script or tutorial… dunno yet.

My Nephews Birthday

•September 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So its my nephews 1 year birthday today, and in that occasion I made a little animation for him and his family. Hope you like it, another HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my nephew:-)


•August 9, 2010 • 6 Comments

been a while… finished my third year film and will be posting that in the future.

Here is the testing of the eye rig that Im developing. DISCLAIMER: The head model is downloaded from TurboSquid.

There are still some elements of the rig that I need to refine, and then I need to find a way for this to be dead easy to setup. Also I want to more control over the corners of the eye. But so far the rig it self is looking promising.


•May 31, 2010 • 4 Comments

Been working on my film, so haven’t had the time to sit down and test out some ideas Ive got. Finally today I really got a chance and energy to sit down and have a play at an eye setup that I have been thinking of.

This is only a proof of concept for myself, but I see quite a bit of potential in it. The setup was inspired by a few various sources, but the one that tickered the idea was this tutorial about smart blink rigging. The concept is that where ever the eyelids are, one slider will always make them close. This I thought was really useful and time saving for the animator. Instead of having to manually match up the toplid to the bottomlid. Also the demo John D. shows on the site has some really nice and flashy eyelids. I found myself when animating for my film, that matching up the eyelids to the eyeballs movement conveys so much more belivability than having static eyelids.

ATM the eyeRig needs more flexibility, like having the option of controlling it by the look at target or more FK like. There are a lot of wiring, which quickly can get confusing so future plans will be to set it up via a script, then you simply place the rig in the right spot and adjust the bones

Thomas Grummt – Demoreel

•May 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Its not very often that I see pieces of animation that I just can’t stop from replaying it again and again, but this one is worth it. I like the fluidity of the tarzan swing, quite like disneys. Also in the last dialogue piece where the scared man says “I’m the man” around 00:43 secs in, I love that gesture:-)